MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The attached video originally aired on Feb. 24, 2022
Parents who have tried to sneak a night away from the kids recently may have noticed that part of the night out has become a lot more expensive-- the babysitter.
According to a recent survey completed by UrbanSitter, the average rate for a babysitter jumped 11% in 2021, to $20.57 an hour on average. This easily outpaces the 7% rise in inflation, and can be attributed to the labor shortage making child care providers hard to find.
In high cost of living areas like New York, a sitter could cost you $23.43 per hour for a single child, and lower cost of living areas like Miami that same service would come in around $19.13. In Minneapolis, UrbanSitter showed that a babysitter would cost around $18.00.
In past surveys, the jump in prices has been much less significant. From 2019 to 2020 prices rose only 3.9%, and increases between 4-5% were more typical in years before that.
Both COVID and a shortage of care providers across the country are believed to be causes of the increase in costs. With fewer babysitters available, those who are offering their services to families are able to charge a higher rate.
Some babysitters also bring a wide range of skills to the families they serve.
"We have seen more former teachers, nurses, early childhood education specialists, and others leave their jobs to pursue other opportunities," including babysitting, tutoring and elder care, Lynn Perkins, the founder and CEO of UrbanSitter, told Axios in an interview.
Perkins did say that she feels one benefit to the more expensive rates is sitters are finally being paid appropriately for the invaluable service they provide to families.
This is the 11th year UrbanSitter has conducted this survey.
Locally, the shortage of child care providers has been an ongoing issue, even before the COVID pandemic. In 2021 Minnesota received $20 million from the American Rescue Plan to alleviate the increased costs and staffing challenges facing the child care industry.
Watch the latest coverage from the KARE11 Sunrise in our YouTube playlist: